During a well-publicized interview in 2002, Samantha Power reflected on the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. She advocated a diversion of funds committed by the US Administration to Israel—for its defense needs—to the Palestinian Authority. She called for a US military intervention aimed at imposing a solution on the Palestinian question. She appeared to portray the Palestinians as victims of Israeli oppression.
In a radio interview in 2008, she doubled down on her extreme leftist’s views, responding to a question by complaining that "So much of it is about: 'Is he going to be good for the Jews?"
In a 2011 interview with Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, she seemed to have changed course. Boteach reported that “Samantha Power seemed genuinely and deeply pained by the perception that she was not a friend of Israel.” She rationalized her 2002 comments by explaining that she was asked to respond to a “thought experiment”, a trick question— “what she would advise an American president if it seemed that either party in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict were moving toward genocide”—and that she stumbled, nose-diving into that trap. Had she had more media experience, she should not have responded. She alluded to the fact that her words were taken out of full context.
Given the multi-colored picture painted above, the question of whether or not Ms. Power’s new appointment is “good for the Jews” is not a trivial one. Still, the answer, in my opinion, is fairly obvious. Samantha Power’s earlier views concerning Israel will not be pertinent to her job in the UN.
Here is why.
The UN ambassador is merely a messenger. He or she serves at the pleasure of the president of the US. Although ambassadors write their own speeches, they follow talking points consistent with US policy determined by the president.
Regardless of their brilliance or points-made, speeches in the UN do not sway opinions. All ambassadors follow voting choices inspired and determined by their bosses, the top leaders, the true policy makers in their country. Ethics and justice are as dead as Latin. Politics and venal national interests rule the roost in the UN.
Samantha Power will follow directions, passed on to her by President Obama when it comes to voting choices and dealings with other diplomats, regardless of her personal preferences or emotional brainwaves.
And when it comes to the president, we have witnessed a dramatic evolution in his attitude toward the Jewish state in general, and concerning the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in particular. When President Obama took office in 2009 he believed that Israel was at fault for the unending stalemate in the “Peace Process”; he believed that the Arab countries and Iran could be won over by his show of respect and admiration to the Muslim world. By 2013, he appears to have learned a lesson. He understands the reality of the situation. He does not merely say that he is a true supporter of the Jewish state; he delivers, and he does so with unprecedented military and intelligence cooperation, significant financial support, perseverance before an extensive anti-Israel lobbying consensus in the UN Security Council, while employing the US Veto power time and again to stop bullying the Jewish State.
But above all, we must remind ourselves that leaders go through a life changing reality check once they assume power. On their campaign trail, or while in the political Opposition Party, they stick to popular ideals; they advocate solutions that make their supporters and potential voters feel good. They do so with no consideration or understanding of political, economic and national security constraints. It’s easy and trendy when the buck stops somewhere else.
Samantha Power was not representing her country when she was making her unfortunate remarks. She could afford articulating “shoot from the hip” ideals as advocated repeatedly by the extreme left; she represented no one else but herself. When, all at once, her words and actions might stand for her country, her boss rather than her own naive ideologies, she would become increasingly more responsible, more self-scrutinizing, more educated about the actual realities of the Middle East.
I would not lose sleep, not even for a moment, as a consequence of Samantha Power’s elevation to the job of the next US ambassador to the UN.
Avi Perry is the author of “72 Virgins”—a popular thriller about a countdown to a terror attack on US soil. He is currently a talk show host at Paltalk News Network (PNN). He served as an intelligence expert for the Israeli government and was a professor at Northwestern University. He was a VP at NMS Communications, a Bell Laboratories distinguished staff member and manager, and a delegate of the US and Lucent Technologies to UN International Standards body. He is also the author of “Fundamentals of Voice Quality Engineering in Wireless Networks.” For more information, visit www.aviperry.org.
_ In his latest speech at the Brookings Institute, US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta offered Israel his words of wisdom. “Just get to the damn [negotiating] table, reach out and mend fences with the Palestinians, or risk facing even greater isolation. If the gestures are rebuked, the world will see those rebukes for what they are, and Israel’s moral standing will grow even higher.”
Echoing these words so that Mr. Panetta could benefit from his own wisdom would sound like this: “Just get to the damn [negotiating] table, Mr. Panetta, reach out and mend fences with al Qaeda, Iran, North Korea or even the Republican Party back in Washington, or risk facing even greater foreign policy failures, and further political deadlock at home...”
There are two traits which point to the core of the faulty doctrine utilized by the United States:
It would appear that US President Barack Obama’s administration does not seem to comprehend the meaning of extreme ideology. Their faulty logic postulates that all humans are reasonable, rational people who could be convinced once the truth is presented in a clear, transparent form, supported by facts and reinforced by historical or scientific evidence.
What Obama fails to understand is that fervent insistence on maintaining an ideology (including deep-seated religious beliefs) makes evidence, expertise or any line of reasoning irrelevant.
If some people believe that they possess the absolute truth, they view those who disagree with their point of view as fundamentally wrong and misguided (in many cases they deem those who disagree with them as criminals). Evidence contradicting their beliefs becomes irrelevant, a violation. Respectful arguments not in line with their ideology are of no use. Compromise is a bad word since it shows frailty and weakness.
Obama seems to understand this simple truth where it applies to his own situation concerning al Qaeda, yet he fails to apply the same logic when Israel enters the picture.
Both Hamas and the Palestinians provide the same threat to Israel that Iran and al Qaeda provide to the US. These Islamic extremists are trapped inside their own ideology. Peace and compromise are deemed blasphemy. The more you concede to these adversaries the bolder their actions become. It’s a war they started; they won’t end it unless Israel is destroyed, unless the US is defeated. To their minds, it’s an all-or-nothing guiding principle where no middle ground is possible. This conclusion is supported by so much evidence that to list it would require volumes upon volumes.
The second piece of faulty logic on the part of the Obama administration is the belief that compromise is always possible because both sides to a conflict or an argument always swear by a common goal like world peace or global economic growth. The president and his team believe that all people are reasonable; they all strive for the same goal of bettering the lives of their fellow citizens.
Obama fails to appreciate that many of his adversaries do not share his goals, or even view them as valid points of view. If the other side wants you dead, disappeared, or even wiped off the map—even at the cost of their own wellbeing, they will never compromise since their talk concerning peace and cooperation is designed to mask their true intentions.
Iran and North Korea see Obama’s attempts at compromising as a sign of weakness and stupidity (can’t this idiot see what we are up to? They must ponder). They will never admit failure of their policies. Instead, they will double down.
The Palestinians will never accept Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state. Instead, they continue to promote hate speech and glorification of terrorist murderers. They continue to fire rockets at Israeli civilians. They brainwash the young generation, employing Nazi style anti-Semitism, so that real peace will be prevented from taking root for the next century and beyond.
The Palestinians and the rest of the Arab world’s Islamists do not see peace with Israel as their objective. Their only aim is to see Israel wiped off the map, whereas Israel’s objective comprises a peaceful co-existence. These two ends could never intersect. Accordingly, no compromise can take root and no negotiations around the “damn table” can bear fruit.
Obama’s olive branch offer to Iran’s leaders at the commencement of his government’s rule was, and still is viewed as weakness and stupidity. Iran will not pull away from their path toward becoming a nuclear-armed superpower simply because Obama is logical and clearheaded. Their intentions collide with Obama’s. Iran does not look forward to world peace because they are lying in wait for Armageddon. It’s their crazy religious dogma and their Islamic ideology that stand in the way of any compromise or logical undertaking.
_ Al-Jazeera, the Qatari-based TV news network is in the process piecing together a program titled “The day Israel crossed the nuclear threshold.” The main objective of this program is intended to expose the “truth” about how Israel satisfied its “military nuclear ambitions” while resorting to sophisticated deception, seedy lies and extortion when dealing with its supreme ally--the United States of America.
Producing a program of that magnitude and scope requires expert knowledge, analysis and opinions by those who are familiar with nuclear technology in general and Israel’s nuclear history in particular. The ideal, most credible program participants are Israelis who would explain, elaborate and confirm (on camera, in their own words) the assertion concerning Israel’s methods of deception, blatant lies and extortion schemes employed in Israel’s quest for nuclear arms capability.
Al-Jazeera approached me for an interview on the subject, and I agreed.
Right from the outset, I tried to set the record straight by arguing against the al-Jazeera’s characterization of Israel’s nuclear project as “military ambitions”. “They were not,” I claimed. “The phrase “Military ambitions” carries the implication of aggressive intentions. Israel’s intentions have not been a product of military ambitions; rather, these have been legitimate defense and deterrent needs.” Then I added. “The world doesn’t really have hard evidence that Israel possesses nuclear weapons, but regardless of whether they do or don’t,” I took a short breath before concluding, “Israel should possess these weapons of last resort.”
The al-Jazeera interviewer seemed astounded. His facial expression resembled a question mark. “Nuclear weapons,” I expounded, “have not been used in wars since World War II. In today’s world the only reason for utilizing weapons of true mass destruction is when the underlying objective is genocide. And Israel is the only nation in the world that is subject to a genocidal threat.” I offerred examples. “Abd el Nasser announced in March 1965, “The liquidation of Israel will be liquidation through violence. We shall enter Palestine, not covered with sand but soaked in blood.” Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been talking about wiping Israel off the map. Other Arab leaders have been echoing both leaders’ words and intentions. “No other nation in the world is facing these kinds of jeopardies,” I added. “Israel should never be caught naked if and when one of its genocide-seeking enemies possesses nuclear weapons. Israel must be able to defend itself, while possessing a compelling deterrent, making its enemies forego the use of nuclear weapons against the Jewish state for fear of massive retaliation.”
The questioning moved to the issue of deception. Al-Jazeera attempted to cook the background by describing the US-Israel cooperation, stressing the alliance (including the “Atoms for Peace” project) between the Jewish state and the Americans before demonstrating how Israel “double-crossed” its most dependent ally, covering up and lying about the purpose and function of its nuclear reactor in Dimona.
I rationalized. “We need to put it all in perspective.”
“During Israel’s early days following its independence, contrary to common views held throughout the Arab world, the US was not Israel’s most trusted ally. In fact, the US placed Israel under an arms embargo that lasted until the late 60s. The US refused to sell high quality arms to Israel even in the face of massive buildup of Egyptian and Syrian arms caches by the Soviet Union.
“France was Israel’s true and sole ally at that time, and cooperation between Israel and France on the Dimona project benefitted France as well. The French were working on designing and fabricating their own nuclear capability; they made use of Israeli patents, and got help from Israeli nuclear scientists. Furthermore, in 1956 a war broke out between Israel and Egypt. The war was joined by France and Great Britain (GB). The two countries invaded the Suez Canal after Nasser had nationalized it. The Soviets threatened France and GB with a nuclear attack should they refuse to withdraw their forces from the canal. The US, under the Eisenhower Administration applied pressure on France, GB and Israel to withdraw rather than standing up to the Soviets’ threats. France, GB and Israel felt betrayed by the Americans.
“To facilitate Israel’s withdrawal from the Sinai, Eisenhower provided Israeli Prime Minister, Ben Gurion, with security guaranties including the demilitarization of the Sinai and an American direct military involvement in case Egypt attacks Israel. Both guaranties proved hollow during 1967 when the Americans under the Johnson Administration did not stop Nasser’s aggressive military buildup in the Sinai, his closing of the straights of Tiran to Israeli shipping and his announcements concerning and preparations for Israel’s bloody, imminent demise.”
In response to al-Jazeera’s questions concerning the American “Atoms for Peace” project I added. “Israel was working with the French (not with the Americans) on its nuclear project. The construction of the Dimona reactor started in 1953 with French help. The American “Atoms for Peace” project had nothing to do with Dimona. It was initiated in 1955, two years following Israeli-French nuclear cooperation on the Dimona reactor. In 1960, following Ben Gurion’s admission that the Dimona project was a peaceful nuclear reactor, the US under the Kennedy Administration insisted on inspections of the facility.
“After some delays, the American visits took place but failed to uncover activities or materials indicative of nuclear weapons production. In the following years as more American inspections took place, the US administrations of Johnson and Nixon came to the realization that Israel might possess the means for nuclear bomb production even though the Americans had never uncovered any hard evidence proving their assumptions.”
Here I added my own caveat. “The Americans main concern was not Israel’s own nuclear weapons. They worried that Israel’s nuclear project may instigate a nuclear arms race in the Middle East, that it would lead to a closer collaboration between the Soviets and their Arab clients on the nuclear issue, and that it would bring about Arabs’ dependence on the Soviet Union. The Americans finally realized that Israel would never attack an Arab country with nuclear weapons unless there was a threat to Israel’s existence. The US and Israel came to an understanding that as long as Israel had not introduced--test, announce or threaten its adversaries with a nuclear attack--the risk of a nuclear arms race in the Middle East would have been diminished. The Americans realized that a nuclear Israel may even contribute to stability due to Israel’s powerful deterrent. Consequently, US administrations starting with Johnson’s were willing to replace France as the main arms supplier to Israel. It was not an Israeli blackmail or any unreasonable political pressure that brought about stronger military ties between Israel and the US. It was the realization that a strong Israel was essential to keeping the peace, to facing up to the Soviet Union.”
At this point the al-Jazeera interviewer asked about the means and the methods used by inspectors to detect efforts designed to produce nuclear weapons, and the measures taken by a nation, trying to mask these activities. I felt at home talking about Uranium enrichment process and Plutonium reprocessing. I avoided discussing details of the second part of the question other than saying that masking nuclear activities for military applications is possible.
We concluded the interview with my assertion that the world should be applying a double-standard on the issue of nuclear Iran. The civilized world understands that a nuclear Israel does not hold a real threat of launching nuclear attacks on its enemies unless Israel is attacked first and it faces a potential Holocaust. On the other hand, Iran has announced its aggressive intentions; it is a terrorist state, ruled by religious fanatics who may try to engineer Armageddon to fulfill their vision of some sick and crazy prophecies. There must be a different standard when dealing with a nuclear Iran.
Al Jazeera was trying to expose the double standard by demonstrating that Iran has been copying Israel’s expedition towards a nuclear weapons capability. I trust that my responses to their questions helped make clear that Iran must be subject to a different standard concerning their quest for nuclear weapons.
My bottom line message was: “A nuclear Iran must not be tolerated, while a nuclear Israel needs not be feared.”
The interview will be aired by al-Jazeera in the near future (no date is available at the time of this writing) after they apply their own creative editing.
Dr. Avi Perry, a talk show host at PNN (Paltalk News Network) is the author of “Fundamentals of Voice Quality Engineering in Wireless Networks,” and more recently, “72 Virgins,” a thriller about the covert war on Islamic terror. He was a VP at NMS Communications, a Bell Laboratories distinguished staff member and manager, a delegate of the US and Lucent Technologies to UN International Standards body, a professor at Northwestern University and Intelligence expert for the Israeli Government. More information is available at www.aviperry.org
I was watching CNN the other day when the anchor asked the “expert” for his opinion regarding the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange deal. “Do you believe it would help advance the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians?” he inquired.
The “expert” responded positively, “it would,” he concluded.
I almost screamed. “Are you totally oblivious to the fact that the Shalit deal was between Israel and Hamas while the so-called, non-existent “peace process” is between Israel and Mahmud Abbas who has nothing to do with Hamas?” “Don’t you see that relating the Shalit deal to the peace process is like tying NASA shuttle program to the recent price of cottage cheese?”
But then I realized that the rest of the world’s opinion-setters including the leaders of the US and Europe are just as confused.
In reality there are two separate Palestinian entities; one ruled by the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the major cities of the West Bank, the other is ruled by Hamas in Gaza. Abbas, the PA president, pretends to have jurisdiction over Gaza; it’s his personal fantasy, one that proves convenient to the civilized world.
What do they mean when they refer to the two-state solution? Does this solution include Hamas in Gaza?
Yes in the world of make-believe; No in the real world.
Abbas does not represent Gaza, and Hamas does not recognize Abbas’s authority, not even where he actually governs, not even in the West Bank. If anyone wishes to allude to a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, they must stay real and recognize that either a two-state solution does not include Gaza, or alternatively, the only comprehensive solution is a three-state solution.
The informed public knows that Hamas does not recognize Israel’s right to exist. The core of this terrorist organization is formed around the concept of wiping Israel and its Jews off the map. They have even refused to support the UN move for recognizing a Palestinian state within the 1949 borders, because it would have implied a de facto recognition of Israel’s existence. Hamas will never sign a peace agreement with Israel. In their eyes, the mere idea of it is worse than blasphemy; it undermines their own existence.
Consequently, a two-state solution that does not include Gaza will not end the conflict between Israel and Hamas and its supporters in the West Bank. A peace agreement between Israel and Abbas will not constitute a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. Furthermore, there is a strong probability that it may not last long, not even between Israel and the West Bank, because Hamas is too popular in Nablus, Jenin, and Hebron, and once Abbas retires peace (if ever concluded) will fade away together with him.
Unfortunately, this reality is not on the table when the two-state solution is pursued by the US, the EU or the media. They all pretend that Abbas is in charge of the two Palestinian entities. They all choose to ignore reality. They all want to pursue a convenient fantasy of a two-state solution where Mahmud Abbas is the head of a single Palestinian entity. They all ignore the fact that Gaza is not under Abbas’s jurisdiction, and that any agreement that includes Gaza without Hamas’s seal of approval is not going to stick.
Any talk of a two-state solution must spell out the nature of the Palestinian state. It must make sure that Gaza under Hamas is excluded from any such agreement. It must recognize that there are two different Palestinian entities, and that Abbas is in charge of only one of them.
Israel must make it clear to the rest of the world that a two-state solution is not a comprehensive solution, and that a three-state solution is infeasible as long as Hamas insists on wiping Israel off the map.
Enough with fantasies. It’s time for a reality check.
On June 25, 2006 Palestinian militants crossed the border from the Gaza Strip before sunrise through a tunnel hundreds of meters long. When the terrorists surfaced in Israeli territory, they came up behind the IDF troops, then attacked Shalit’s Gaza-facing tank.
Two Israeli soldiers jumped out of the tank and were gunned down on the spot. Shalit emerged from the tank a little later, and was taken captive. A fourth soldier who was wounded and unconscious was later rescued from the tank by Israeli soldiers.
Most people, including Israelis living in Israel, do not recognize the names and the faces of Lt. Hanan Barak and Staff Sgt. Pavel Slutzker. The two Israeli soldiers killed in action during Shalit’s abduction became one more case in the long list of distant statistics. At the same time, Gilad Shalit, the only lucky survivor of the June 25 ambush has become a national hero, a celebrity, a family member in most Israeli households. He became a lost brother in an urgent need of rescue.
On October 12, 2000, two Israeli reservists, Vadim Nurzhitz and Yossi Avrahami, traveling in the West Bank, mistakenly entered Ramallah. Reaching a Palestinian Authority roadblock, where they should have been turned back as had been done in previous cases, the reservists were detained by PA policemen and taken to the local police station. Hearing rumors that undercover Israeli agents were in the building, Palestinian rioters stormed the building.
The soldiers were beaten, stabbed, had their eyes gouged out, and were disemboweled. At this point, a Palestinian (later identified as Aziz Salha), appeared at the police station window, displaying his blood-stained hands to the crowd, which erupted into cheers. One of the soldier's bodies was then thrown out the window and stamped and beaten by the enraged mob. One of the bodies was set on fire. Soon after, the mob dragged the two mutilated bodies to Al-Manara Square in the city center as the crowd began an impromptu victory celebration [see Wikipedia, 2000 Ramallah Lynching for further details]
On October 18, 2011, Aziz Salha, the butcher of that incident in Ramallah, was scheduled to be released with other 1026 Palestinian terrorists in a deal between Israel and Hamas that freed Gilad Shalit from captivity.
Why was Israel willing to pay such a high price, 1027 terrorists, many with blood of innocent Israelis on their hands, for one Gilad Shalit? Was it too high of a price or was it just right?
The answer rests on whom you ask.
I can understand GIlad’s parents, family and friends. No price would ever be too high for them. They would have given in to any terrorists’ demand, regardless of how outrageous, extreme or damaging it would have been. Gilad is their son; he is their everything. Every caring parent would have done the same.
But what about the rest of us? Why do over 70% of Israeli citizens not seem to be bothered by the high price? Why do Israelis value Gilad Shalit more than the ones who may die or be kidnapped because Israel has emboldened and energized those who concluded that violence is the answer?
Isn’t it true that all things considered, the Shalit deal has proved that the consequence of a long term imprisonment as a deterrent for murdering Israelis is trifling since Hamas will try to replicate the Shalit episode in order to have these terrorists set free prematurely? Isn’t it true that the apparent PA’s way of non-violent resistance seems to yield no results, that Hamas’s unyielding violent position has proved to be spot-on?
The answer rests on the fact that Gilad’s parents with the patronage of the Israeli media were able to run a professional campaign supported by a skilled organization backed by considerable financial contributions. They were delivering Gilad’s image to every Israeli home for the past five years; they were pleading for his release; they were conveying their personal pain, their own grief, his loneliness, his anguish, his life-threatening jeopardy. Their version became the talk around the dinner table; Israeli citizens grew to know Gilad and his story, his family and their plight. Israelis developed intimacy to the Shalits, and then, they adopted Gilad. He became a brother, a son. He turned out to be an integral extension of their family.
There was no opposing, organized movement. Although there were a few cries in the dark there was no persistent voice or media inducement explaining the consequences of giving in to Hamas’s demands, of boosting Hamas image as the true flag bearer of the Palestinians’ cause. There was no methodical campaign which could bring to light the dangers associated with letting loose life-term murderers of innocent Israelis to a place where they will continue to spray their poisonous venom. There was nothing of the kind that could match the painstaking campaign calling for Shalit’s freedom at any price— nothing!
As a consequence, the systematic campaign to free Gilad at any cost, prompted Hamas to toughen their stand; it enhanced Hamas’s negotiating position; it inevitably raised the price paid for bringing about Gilad’s freedom, and it pressured the government of Benjamin Netanyahu to go along and accommodate the wishes of its citizens.
It is impossible to assess the exact damage affected by the high price paid for Shalit’s freedom. The next Israeli victims, killed or kidnapped as a consequence of the deal are not yet known; they are not, and may never become family members in most Israeli households. Their tragedy will indeed cause pain—a short-lived one, but by and large these victims will not benefit from a campaign designed to elevate emotional sentiments over logical reasoning. These victims will become anonymous statistics shortly after they lose their lives. And consequently, most Israelis will never comprehend the repercussions fueled by the Shalit deal.
Dr. Avi Perry, a talk show host at Paltalk News Network, is the author of “Fundamentals of Voice Quality Engineering in Wireless Networks,” and more recently, “72 Virgins,” a thriller about the covert war on Islamic terror. He was a VP at NMS Communications, a Bell Laboratories distinguished staff member and manager, a delegate of the US and Lucent Technologies to UN International Standards body, a professor at Northwestern University and Intelligence expert for the Israeli Government. More information is available at www.aviperry.org
Undermining government policies, inhibiting successful acts designed to improve quality of life for its citizens is what the political opposition does in a democracy. But when these destructive actions are reinforced and amplified by the media, when they work against the national agenda, when the majority of the citizens swear by the false concepts the media is shoving down our throats, the outcomes may turn calamitous.
This is the situation we are in at the moment. Someone needs to set off the alarm bells and call the bluff, switch direction, and bring about a turnaround.
Case 1: The huge rallies, the ads, the protests, the outpouring sympathy designed to apply pressure on someone for releasing of Gilad Shalit from Hamas’s captivity do not help the poor kid. They accomplish the exact opposite. They raise the price we must pay for his freedom; they elevate his captors’ status, provide them with powers they would have never assumed, had the media and the public lowered the volume.
The result—Gilad is still in captivity with little hope for being set free—an exact opposite of the protesters’ objective.
Case 2: The world media including many world leaders have fashioned a trendy, misguided perception that the existing state of affairs between Israel and the Palestinians is unsustainable, that time is running out on the current status quo, that a peace agreement with the Palestinian Authority is absolutely essential.
Here in Israel people have deemed a peace agreement necessary in being able to move toward a more permanent and a more stable international standing, a more prosperous economy, and a more favorable view of Israel as a fair and just democracy.
These people point to the latest ostensible political tsunami—the Turkish condemnation and threats, the Egyptians’ attack on the Israeli embassy, the Jordanians’ hostile position, a world’s support for the unilateral Palestinians’ move in the UN—as proof of their world outlook. They accuse PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s, claiming that his policies are the root cause for Israel’s isolation.
Truth is, the situation Israel has found itself in lately is not new or unique, and certainly not worse than any past state of affairs. The Jewish state has been living under a cloud of isolation including an existential threat since before its birth. In fact, Israel’s international standing is relatively stable; its economy is growing faster than most of the world’s highly developed nations, and quality of life in the Jewish state is relatively high and reasonably safe—safer and better than at any time in its past one hundred years.
Once again, this flawed assessment is the primary motive behind the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) refusal to negotiate, to compromise. This false urgency weakens Israel’s negotiating position, brings about universal frustration with Israel’s inability to move the “peace process” forward as if this process is a matter of life or death for Israel—not for the Palestinians.
Unfortunately, the status quo is the best “bad” option Israel has at this point in its history. All other options—a single dual-national state with no Jewish majority or a return to the 1967 cease fire line with no security guaranties—are far worse. Israel must adopt the status quo option and sell it to the rest of the world even if most nations refuse to buy it.
Accepting the false notion that time is running out on the present status quo, that the existing state of affairs between Israel and the Palestinians is unsustainable, is a self-fulfilling prophesy. It invites international pressure; it weakens Israel’s resolve, and it might even bear much worse consequences.
Case 3: Erroneously, the world keeps considering Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, as the representative of the Palestinian people. This view is obviously out of touch with reality. There are in fact two separate Palestinian entities, the PA, which is unstable at best, and Hamastan in Gaza , which is not under the PA's influence or jurisdiction. Furthermore, the government in Ramallah may be replaced by a terrorist regime before long, subsequent to signing of a peace agreement with Israel.
Although the Israeli government keeps reminding the world that Gaza is a terrorist nest, the world continues to regard Judea, Samaria and Gaza as the territory of the future Palestinian state following a peace agreement between Abbas and Israel. The contradiction and the insanity of this concept does not seem to register with anyone concerned with the peace process.
How will Israel defend itself against a terrorist state, with which it has signed a peace agreement? Won’t it be much more logical to hang on to the status quo, keep the checkpoints and maintain Israel’s legitimate right for preemptive means in self-defense?
By accepting Mahmud Abbas as the representative of all Palestinians, Israel continues to promote a fantasy. It reinforces a false notion and helps promote the Palestinian demand for a single Palestinian state in Judea, Samaria and Gaza. Ignoring the facts that there are two separate (geographically and ideologically) Palestinian entities and the fact that Abbas is potentially replaceable by a Hamas leader is like claiming that Yasser Arafat was worthy of the Nobel Peace Prize, or that the Palestinians want to live in peace next to a Jewish state.
Accepting the imaginary notion that a peace agreement with Abbas would end the conflict with the Palestinians (including the regime in Gaza) and that Israel should strive for a two-state solution is the main reason for the world’s frustration with Israel’s inability to close on a peace agreement with the PA. Israel must make clear to the world that Abbas represents a small sect of the Palestinian people, that peace with Abbas is not peace with the Palestinians, and that peace with Abbas will only inhibit Israel’s ability to guard against Islamic terror practiced or supported by the majority of the Palestinian population in Judea, Samaria and Gaza.